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Welcome to episode #41 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. This week I spoke with Tommy Breedlove, the author of Legendary. He loves traveling and exploring the outdoors.

Top Talking Points

  • Writing messages of gratitude to yourself.
  • Sticking to your morning routine so that you never begin to lose focus.
  • Writing all of your goals in present tense.

Share Link for this episode

Connect With Tommy at Tommybreedlove.com

Find The Books Mentioned on Kindle or Audible

The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday

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Episode Transcript

Ryan  

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the morning upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that are also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20 minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development to upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morning upgrade.com Thanks for letting me share and now on to the show.

Announcer  

Welcome to the Morning upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan 

Hey Tommy, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How’s it going?

Tommy  

Ryan, my brother. I’m so grateful to be here, man. Let’s do our morning upgrade bro.

Ryan  

Yeah, absolutely. So why don’t you start off by telling everyone who you are, what you do, and what you enjoy doing?

Tommy 

Absolutely, man. I’m Tommy Breedlove, the Wall Street Journal and the USA Today best-selling author of the book, Legendary. That’s what I do for professional life and also premiere executive mindset, business and relationship coach for men. Who am I? I think I’m a seeker. I think I’m a healer. And I think I’m a learner. And the more I grow and learn the older I get, the more I realize I don’t know anything. And what do I enjoy doing anything outdoors, so anything with water or mountains or hiking? I miss traveling you know I love to travel all over the world and experience new foods, new cultures, new people, new smells. And so that’s just a little bit about me man married 20th year anniversary this year, we’ve been together 25 Two dogs and Lana, Georgia happy to be alive and truly brother grateful to be here. Right.

Ryan 

So I have a question. It sounds like you’re really big into personal development, personal growth, and you help others do the same. What is it about personal growth that you’re so like? What makes you so into improving yourself bettering yourself? Where do you think that comes from?

Tommy  

Well, I live what I call 37 years on the wrong side of karma. Some people call it soul, some people energy. And you know, I only experienced what the outside world would have thought would have been a lot of financial success. But the inner game, my happiness, my fulfillment, my joy in life, my insecurities, my fears, they were off the charts. And so when I started investing in myself heavily and I’m not just talking about running and working on I’m talking about the inner game man is really working on my heart muscle, my mind-muscle and my soul’s muscle at the age of 37 what I’ve experienced in my life, from happiness to peace of mind, to fulfillment to confidence, but also to the relationship with my wife, my network, my friends. And also my financial says, success. It’s all Tenex since I really have developed I invest in myself first. And that way I can serve others better. And I think we’ve got to protect our entire forte I don’t I don’t think a lot of us spend enough time working on our heart, our mind and our soul’s muscles. Because we once do we’ll do the physical muscles and the business muscles. But until we get the inner game down, we can’t truly be our best selves. And that’s where we conquer our fears. That’s where we head up, shoulders back. That’s where become more confident, more courageous, more loving, more empathetic, more open-minded, and more compassionate. And for me, since I’ve done those things, my whole life has changed 180 degrees, and it looked like I was successful on the outside and I had all the shiny things in the suit in the corner office and a partner at a big firm. And in on the inside. I was dying and what what’s worse, this life’s a whole lot more than just business and financial success, which I think is super important. By the way, I’m a money guy. But in order to truly be happy, confident, courageous, and fulfilled in life, you have to do the inner game, man.

Ryan 

Yeah, yeah, absolutely great. I’m really big into the mindset. Right now, I’ve always been into personal development, but really trying to double down the mindset thing, because I feel like that’s such a key part of it all. And part of your story too reminds me of a book that I’m reading right now with my daughter is called The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma. Yep, yep, his brother to page two pages now, you know, they seem to be into it. You know, I think some of the stuff is kind of going over their heads, but they’re, they’re, they’re paying attention. So sure, some of it’s soaking in. 

Tommy

It sounds like you’re gonna have a pretty interest. My dad would read that to me, by the way. It’s a good you, dad. That’s awesome, man.

Ryan  

I know, I was like, You know what, they’re not gonna think of this stuff themselves. As you don’t know what you don’t know. They’re not gonna think of like, oh, maybe I should read a parable about life lessons and things like that. So I figure I’m just trying to, gently force it onto them in a fun way. And then maybe, maybe they’ll get some stuff out of it. So that’s my approach.

Tommy 

I don’t think they maybe will. I think they will. I think there’s a little voice inside their soul and that’s just even when they’re in their 20s and 30s. I remember when my dad did this, and I remember this man. It’s beautiful, brother, and that fills my cup man.

Ryan  

Thanks, Tommyy. So let’s talk about your morning routine sounds like you probably have a pretty hardcore morning routine. I’d love to learn more about it.

Tommy 

Yeah, and it’s something I don’t compromise so I don’t do any business meetings before 9 am I will not do them ask any of my clients, and I pretty demanding clients. And that’s my, what I call my, my spiritual time, man. And so my morning routine consists of the following some type of 30-minute workout, whether that’s yoga, physical weight, exercise, cardio, peloton, whatever it means, I’ve got got to put 30 minutes into my body every day, I journal and do affirmations every single day. So my whatever I’m working on in my life, I write the affirmations and I’ll give you one of them right now. And I write this every single day as I am a loving, present husband and I write it in the I am tense. It’s an intention. I’m setting the intention. Now intention without action and action without intention is meaningless. So I’m setting the intention when I write those affirmations of what I’m currently working on, and so that I can go take action in the day. And so I write affirmations every day, I write five things. I’m grateful for every day of them, and two of them are to myself. Thank you, Tommy, for leaning in to be a little bit better than yesterday, because I think a lot of us men don’t give ourselves enough credit. We don’t give ourselves enough love. We don’t give ourselves enough gratitude. And that manifests itself in insecurity, fear in bad decisions, and we need to love ourselves a little more so that we can love others. So let me summarize for daily affirmations journaling, daily gratitude journaling, I read the Daily stoic every day, I read Christian mystics every day I read 365 Dow every day, and I usually have two or three other daily reading sometimes I’ll go through as a man thinketh so I have these five or six books that I actually read that are daily meditations are daily reads their ancient wisdom that helped me to be a better man helped me get perspective helped me to get present. I meditate for a minimum of 10 minutes every day. I’d like to do twinning. Sometimes I do 10, sometimes do 20 Which helps me to be proactive and not reactive. That helps me to be present helps me to be calmer in my day. And it just really sets my whole day, right. And finally, I pray and so Oh, and I’m missing something. I also go for a walk every morning with my dogs. And sometimes it’s complete silence. It’s my thinking time. It’s my innovating time. It’s my get, but also very present. During that walk, I’m looking at trees and bringing the air I’m hearing the birds. And when I’m not quite, I’m always listening because I’m in getting the best out of executive men, whether it’s in their relationships, or money amongst them. I’m always practicing my craft. And so I always read a book or listen to a podcast, how do I get better in my craft and that’s my learning time as well. I also do that at night. And so my morning routine is non negotiable for me. I’m not saying I’m perfect at it, brother, but when I when it goes wrong, and if I’m off of it for three days, I feel it in my work and my leadership and my business in my relationship, man, so it’s it’s non-compromising for me, man.

Ryan 

I definitely agree with that. Like, when COVID Just started I let myself slip out of my morning routine. And I started feeling not great. I was like, What am I doing here? So I get myself back in the back of the routine and it does make a big difference like the mission daily stoic. I read that every morning to I’m starting to gift it to clients. I feel like it’s very well received on that front.

Tommy 

I require every single man that’s in my mastermind and every single man that I work with one to have it I actually have probably 14 copies behind me over my left shoulder that I give away on a regular basis to it’s a beautifully well-done book, man.

Ryan  

It’s easy to consume like you’re reading one page a day. It’s like a paragraph couple of paragraphs. Every page is filled with so much wisdom. It’s like a no-brainer book to get you to know $15 very well spent.

Tommy  

So because I run my I know you and I met via at a mastermind because I run masterminds for a living I also am in a mastermind and my Christmas present to the other eight men and that mastermind was the daily stoic. I get a text at least three times a week from each one of them talking about how powerful the read is. So, there you go Ryan Holiday, you need to send me and Ryan some some royalty checks from you brother.

Ryan  

15,005 star reviews is crazy.

Tommy 

He’s rockin it as an author, man, I’m just I’m filled with inspiration of his work, man.

Ryan  

The thing, Tommy, you mentioned that I thought was heard before it was gratitude practice. Definitely, I do that every morning too and I always recommend it. But the two that you write to yourself like things that you’re proud of, you know, recognizing your achievements or you’re whatever you accomplish. I think that’s a really key takeaway for me.

Tommy  

The reason I do that is, you know, I work with a lot of Alpha men. And what I mean by alphas is they’re driven, they’re motivated, they want to be successful in life and in business. But what we don’t do, all of us have this voice inside our head that says we’re not good enough or what if they figure out I don’t know what I’m doing or I’m not something right And we also struggle especially I’m going to talk about women but women too but men for sure struggle with receiving love, courage, confidence, self-respect, whether we say we do or not, you know, a lot of us act as if but we struggle with it. We struggle with receiving love. And so for me, the unwinding of that shame, the unwinding of all those ridiculous lessons we’ve been told in our life, they say we’re not something we’re not this, we’re not that, that envy in that comparison. But when we write down Thank you, Tommy, for XYZ, thank you, Tommy, for it sounds almost egotistical. But what it does, is it unwire is that I’m not good enough. And, you know, I’m not lovable to the, hey, give yourself some love. Give yourself some gratitude, give yourself some grace. And eventually, you do start standing tall, and I’ll take it a step further, I’ll go all-in on what I wish I had in front of me, I’d show you I literally at the bottom, sign it, you know, all my affirmations and gratitude, you know how sound the bottom line is, was say, I love you and I signed my name. And here’s the other part, I do actually go back and reread those after I write them and literally feel them. So when we put that gratitude out there to others into ourselves, that feeling we get back brother is grace. And it is a powerful life hack to be emotionally and mentally stronger.

Ryan  

You write the affirmations in present tense Do you write the like if you have financial goals, you write them in present tense to like, I have this much in savings or whatever the case is. 

Tommy 

Everything’s in present tense. Everything’s always in the present tense, never future tense. Never say I will always say I am. And so we have pretty big financial goals for this practice for our firm for our people. And so we always write those down. I’ve actually even taken that a step further, one of my bookmarks, and one of my readings is a $150 million check made out to myself, and I’m not even joking.

Ryan 

So tell me what habits do you have to rely on every day beside the morning routine,

Tommy  

The biggest one I have is an informal gratitude practice. I’m very, very rigid with my calendar and who I take time with and who I don’t. But let’s start with gratitude practice anytime I feel overwhelmed or stressed, or I feel like I’m not on the track, I go right to gratitude. I’ll take three deep breaths, and I concentrate on the exhale, deep breath in. And then exhale out, I concentrate on the exhale, that’s releasing it. And then I immediately whether with my eyes open or close, I can be doing it right I will really be doing on this call right now. And you would not know if I literally start thinking about things I’m grateful for, I look outside and see the birds or the trees or the wind, or the music going, and I just get present, and I get calm. And that’s a daily habit that’s really changed my life. I have almost zero tolerance for news. And so I never have a CNN or Fox News and MSNBC, I just don’t allow it into my world, my atmosphere, my sphere. So that’s a habit I do not I didn’t even know it was snowing in Texas until a client called me they had no power. And so you know, because Texas is shut down right now, because the ISIS know. And so, another daily habit I have is zero news. If it’s important enough, I promise you people are going to be talking about it, you’ll know about it anyway. But it just protects my forte, I believe that we have to allow goodness and nutrition into our bodies and social media news that and even most of the stuff on Netflix and Amazon, that’s just poison, you’re just allowed poison into your soul. And so I’m very dogmatic about what I let in gratitude is a daily habit hack I have. And finally, I’m very, very cautious of who I spend time with what I’ll allow onto my calendar. It’s truly got to be a hell yes for me, or it’s a no, if I can, if someone else can do it, someone else will do it. And so you’d be shocked at how much of my life is outsourced out, I can’t tell you the last time I was in a grocery store or anything like that, or took my car to get it fixed. Or if someone else can do it. Someone else will do it. And I paid them accordingly for that. And so those are some of the daily life hacks that I have. 

Ryan  

Yeah, yeah, definitely dropping a lot of gems here. We listen to this for sure. So I’ve got one more question for you, Tommy, then we can wrap up with you telling everyone how they can learn more about you. So talk about mindset, but specifically, how do you like what’s your number one tip for getting over conflict mindset to get over conflict?

Tommy 

So conflict in what way brother?

Ryan  

Let’s think about conflict with another person with a client or your husband or your wife or your friends, comfortably, another person.

Tommy 

Get quiet on it first. There’s a reason God gave us two ears and one mouth. And so anytime there’s a conflict, that’s a time to get quiet. It’s time to reflect and I would meditate on that conflict. I also practice the Ho’oponopono prayer. That’s something that everybody can look up. That’d be something cool for everybody to look up. So I’m not even gonna tell you it’s a very short prayer. It’s four lines, and it helps with conflict but When I do conflict, there are two things I do I meditate and get quiet on it. I get silent on it. And I want to know, what’s my part? What’s their part. And I always reach out. I have seven other men in my life that are like Rockstar’s board of directors and inner circle members. And before I speak before I get angry, before I make the situation worse, I need to reflect what do I believe my part in it? What do I believe their part in it? And how do we reconcile that? Like, where are we feeling that we’re, we’re being damaged, because anytime we have conflict, we feel like something’s being taken from us or values have been compromised. And so I reach out to those guys after I’ve gotten quiet about it after I’ve reflected on it after I’ve meditated on it. And I reach out to them and say, Where am I blind spots. And I always if it’s on me, I practice the Ho’oponopono prayer, look it up. And it helps me to resolve that conflict in as graceful a way as possible. One of my strongest, I guess, of my blind spots is I have a real problem with bullying. And so I have to be careful I’m bullying could be an entitlement, it could be victimhood, it could come out in just very small ways. But when people try to take advantage of me or others, I want to triple their bullying. So for me, this quiet technique, this Excel technique, this technique of breathing in reflecting, meditating, and then having a conversation with others has allowed me to be more proactive and not reactive because I don’t want to become what I hate. I don’t want to become that bully and that helps me with my conflict.

Ryan  

Appreciate that really actionable answer. So Tommy, what’s the best way to find out more about you if they want to learn more?

Tommy 

Yeah, brother, I would appreciate anyone. My book is an audible. It’s electronic. It’s in hardback. It’s in paperback. It’s a Wall Street Journal USA bestseller. You can find it at any of your local bookstores. If you liked anything that we talked about today. Or if you like The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, you definitely love the Legendary please check it out. I’m very, very proud of it. That’s hard for me to say I was a recovering perfectionist. You can always find me on social media. We’re always putting out life hacks and love and inspiration and goodness and money, strategies. We’re never negative. We’re never political. We’re never condemning. So check us out at Tommy Breedlove either on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram where you can reach me at www.TommyBreedlove.com, man. So I’m way out. There you go Tommy Breedlove, and I’m the one you’re going to see. So I’d love for you to join our Instagram or social movement because we are putting goodness out there. We’d love for you to check out the book and please reach out to me which you can do via my website. If you’d like to chat about anything, man. I’m here. 

Ryan  

Yeah, I read the book. It’s definitely worth reading. We’ll link everything up on your show notes page. Thanks again, Tommy. And thanks to everyone for listening. And be well.

Ryan  

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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